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We want to pour cement at the front door but aren't sure if we should pour it below, level with, or above the existing foundation. If we pour it above, wouldn't there be a good chance water would be able to run into the house? I would think we should pour it an inch or two below that level, but I don't know what you're supposed to do in situations like this.

We will be finding someone who knows what they're talking about, but until then, for the sake of deciding as a family how exactly we'd all like it to look I was hoping someone could give us some advice.

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I would pour it below the foundation level for several reasons.

First if the same level it would be easy for a heavy rain to end up inside.

In my current state and 2 others I have lived in the exterior slab is supposed to be 4-6 inches below the siding. I have had issues with home inspections/ bank financing on several flips that did not have the clearance concrete should not be an issue but when flagged by the inspector it has caused problems. In 1 case I had to remove the slab 4” out from the siding and create a depression to provide the clearance crazy but 2 hours with a concrete saw eliminated the bank financing issue so make sure to provide the clearance or you may end up doing similar or loosing a sale.

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  • This is a piece of good advice. You can provide a door step by the entrance/exit about 1" - 2" below the interior floor level.
    – r13
    Jul 17 at 17:13
  • Mine is 6" down... My old house was even and got rain in every time. +1
    – JACK
    Jul 17 at 19:34
  • That's what I thought. I hadn't considered what codes would need meeting. I'll look into that. Thank you for your cautionary tale!
    – Alt
    Jul 17 at 22:01
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Pave/pour it below, and grade it away from house.

Your challenges are snow and rain.

Snow will pile against the wall, then melt and ingress into siding or framing. Or it will melt & re-freeze between structural wood where it can cause separation at the bottom plate of your framing.

Currently all water heads down into the soil, and so you have to think about where it would go & collect if paved, even if graded. This applies to all water: rain water dripping down from the siding, snow piles melting against the house etc..

Grading it will not be enough to protect the base of your house framing.

Alternatively, you could have a higher slab if you provide alternative means to keep water away form the house, e.g. with a french ditch, perhaps 1 ft of gravel perimeter between house & slab, with an embedded drainage pipe.

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  • Snow is a big problem right there. Three roofs meet and the snow piles up there four feet high when it slides off the roof. Do you think eves trough + grade away + as far below the foundation as possible would be enough for the rain?
    – Alt
    Jul 17 at 22:05
  • @Alt Depending on how much snow collects against the house, I think a ditch could be required. 1in depth might be ok for rain but it won't do much for snow. I'd be very concerned with any moisture or re-freeze. Also, how deep you can set the slab depends on the elevation of the grounds around this area. If you drop it 6in, can you still slope it to the garden? How much earth would you have to move?
    – P2000
    Jul 18 at 5:15
  • I think we could get away with a good drop in height. The area slopes away quite a bit from the house. Now that I think about it, we've never had a problem with water coming in there before (that we know of). There were flag stones there previously. If we have to I guess we'll just have to put more effort into shoveling.
    – Alt
    Jul 18 at 15:28
  • @Alt past experience there is a good reference. W.r.t the flag stones, where they grouted? If not, much of the water probably also seeped between them into the soil. Anyway, I think if you have the info you need. Let us know what the installer said, and good luck!
    – P2000
    Jul 18 at 16:31
  • They weren't grouted, no. Yes, thank you all for your help! I'll try to remember to give an update.
    – Alt
    Jul 18 at 16:59

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